Grimaldi’s Pizzeria executive chef and food and beverage director Cory Lattuca focuses on creating a traditional New York-style experience for guests at each of their locations across the country. Learn what brought the beloved pizzeria to Hillside Village, how they maintain their authentic recipes, and the perfect Grimaldi’s meal, including some new menu items for spring.
How do you stay true to your 100-year-old pizza making traditions?
It is not easy, especially with the number of locations that we have. We focus on three main things: simplicity, authenticity and training. We make sure we use the same ingredients – the flour, the water, the tomatoes, the cheese. The same coal-fired brick ovens. The same hand tossed dough. The same cooking method. We spend month training our chefs to make sure they aren’t just pizza makers, but expert pizza chefs. That is how we stay consistent and true to the Grimaldi’s brand.
What would be an ideal meal at Grimaldi’s, from start to finish?
I’m a traditionalist, so I believe your first perfect meal at Grimaldi’s should be simple and showcase the original recipes. Those items on our menu would be the house salad, cheese pizza and New York cheesecake. This would be complemented with a glass of Mille Gradi, a new Tuscan red wine that we’ve added to our wine list. It may be different for others, but this would be my ideal meal at Grimaldi’s.
Why did you choose to open at Hillside Village in Cedar Hill?
Honestly, Hillside Village chose us. It was the community engagement along with the hard work of the Hillside Village staff that brought a Grimaldi’s to Cedar Hill. We could feel how badly that the community wanted a Grimaldi’s, and our team thought it was a great fit for us as well. We are always looking for ways to grow the Grimaldi’s brand, and this was a great opportunity to grow in the Texas market.
How does Grimaldi’s continue to stand out from other pizza restaurants?
We stand out by remaining true to our roots that helped us to grow into what we are today. I feel it is easy to fall into the trap of serving several different items on your menu, but at a low quality. Instead, we have kept our menu simple so that we can focus on serving only the best pizza in the world. We keep our restaurant focused on being a true New York experience, with the high quality Italian ingredients you find only in the best pizzerias.
Are there any new or seasonal items guest can look forward to?
For the first time at Grimaldi’s, we are releasing a new summer menu instead of our usual seasonal selections. We are offering a summer salad, two delicious cheesecake options, and our barbecue chicken pizza. Our summer menu will also contain beverage options like our summer sangria and new Italian sodas. We spent a good amount of time working on this menu and we’re excited to launch it to our guests.